Going Global? The EU Common Commercial Policy After Lisbon
The EU is competing with the other economic superpowers for the biggest influence in world economic affairs; the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are challenging the existing economic order, and add with their own interests a further complication of matters. A multilateral approach seems most unlikely. A coalition between the USA and the EU to influence the world economic order in a democratic and western market economy driven way — even if this model is envisaged by political scientists and economists — is wishful thinking. Such an EU–USA economic cooperation is not mentioned in the 2006 Commission Communication on “Global Europe, Competing in the World.” Bergsten recently proposed that China and the USA should as a new “G2” work together on and be responsible for the new world order, putting the EU — still an economic superpower but without a clear voice — aside.1 Thus, in political reality the USA and the EU, even though economically highly interdependent, are both acting independently from each other. By more and more favoring preferential trade agreements (PTAs2) they set up their trade agreement networks in a manner comparable to superhubs in air transport.3 A competition between the EU, the USA, China and the other emerging markets for their position in the new economic order of the twenty-first century therefore is the challenge the actors have to adapt to. With the Treaty of Lisbon,4 the EU is seeking — once again — to become a major player in this arena, since before as well as after the entry into force of the Treaty the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) determines the legal basis for Europe’s place in its global economic relations.